AFCON 2021African FootballCompetitionNEWS

AFCON 2021: Hosts Cameroon claim bronze medal after remarkable comeback against Burkina Faso

Indomitable Lions end tournament on a high following penalty shootout

AFCON 2021 hosts Cameroon ended their participation in the tournament with a 5-3 penalty shootout win over Burkina Faso following an entertaining 3-3 draw in regulation time.

After facing the disappointment of losing in the semifinals to Egypt and Senegal, both sides were looking to end the tournament on a high.

Cameroon coach Antonio Conceicao started a host of fringe players in the encounter, with captain Vincent Aboubakar, Karl Toko-Ekambi, Andre Frank Zambo-Anguissa, Nouhou Tolo and Nicolas Ngamaleu left on the bench.

Despite early dominance by Cameroon, Burkina Faso went in front through Steve Yago in the 24th minute of the encounter. The left-back made a blindside run and got on the end of a cross from fellow full-back Issa Kabore to thrash a firm finish into the roof of the net.

With half-time in view, the Stallions doubled their advantage after a horrible goalkeeping howler by Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana. The Ajax man surprisingly caught and dropped a cross from Kabore in his goal in the 43rd minute to make it 2-0 to Burkina Faso.

Cameroon made two changes at half-time, with captain Aboubakar and Ngamaleu brought on to help them gain a foothold of the match.

The Stallions added a third goal just four minutes into the second half as Djibril Outtara headed home a brilliant cross from captain Bertrand Traore. Burkina Faso were cruising and Cameroon looked crestfallen.

The Indomitable Lions gave themselves a lifeline through Angers striker Stephane Bahoken, who smashed home an effort from inside the box following a corner in the 71st minute.

Aboubakar further reduced the difference in the 85th minute when he headed home following a corner by fellow substitute Ngamaleu for his seventh goal of the tournament, making it 3-2 with only five minutes of the match left.

The Cameroon captain fired home from inside the box to equalise for the Indomitable Lions and send the home crowd in Yaounde into raptures. A long ball from defense was caught by Burkina Faso goalkeeper Soufian Farid, who dropped the ball after a collision with Soumaila Outtara for Aboubakar to slot home his eighth goal of the tournament and send the match to penalties.

Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana redeemed himself by being the hero of the shootout as he saved Blati Toure’s penalty before Ambroise Oyongo scored the winning penalty for the Indomitable Lions, who finished in third place on home soil, a consolation for their efforts.

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